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Regular rider of the country’s best racehorse Winx, Hugh Bowman is looking at a couple of international raiders to ride in the Melbourne Cup 2017 including the Hughie Morrison-trained Marmelo.
Guaranteed a start on the first Tuesday of November in the iconic Group 1 $6 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) sitting 16th on the latest order of entry, the Duke Of Marmalade stallion is one of the highest-credentialed internationals in the mix for this year’s edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Marmelo, who will race as a five-year-old down under, was last seen saluting in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville in France on August 20.
The form of that race has held in the Melbourne Cup results plenty over the past decade or so and the bookies have Marmelo at a current quote of $21 in futures odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Bowman has been kept busy this spring and his next big task is guiding Winx to her 21st straight win when she debuts at Flemington on Saturday in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).
The gun hoop though is keen to head to Werribee shortly to partner Marmelo in a track gallop before Melbourne Cup jockeys are confirmed.
“Hugh Bowman is a prospect of coming and having a sit on him so perhaps in the next week or so we’ll think about having a gallop,” Morrison’s travelling stable representative Thomas Pirie told Racing Victoria this week.
“Nothing too stressful, but we might do a little bit of sharper work.
“Speaking to Hughie [Morrison], we are hoping that Hugh Bowman is going to step up and get on the plate for us.”
Marmelo is allocated 55kg in the Melbourne Cup weights and could vie for the Spring Cups double also holding an entry for the Group 1 $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 28.
Bowman is likely to ride either the Prix Kergorlay winner or fellow import Red Cardinal from the German stables of former Melbourne Cup winning trainer Andreas Wohler.
Wohler won the two mile classic in 2014 with Protectionist, who also saluted in that year’s Prix Kergorlay before a down under debut when fourth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m).
Red Cardinal is also allocated Bowman’s preferred weight of 55kg for the Melbourne Cup in 2017 and was last seen finishing fifth to Marmelo in the Prix Kergorlay on the back of successive two mile wins in May and June respectively at Group level.
Pirie said that Marmelo had travelled well and was starting to adjust to his new surroundings at Werribee.
“He’s settling in OK,” he said. “He’s getting on the track and having a canter. He’s taking things in his stride at the moment.
“He’s a real good traveller. For a horse that sat up in a plane for the first time for that length of time, he took it real well.
“Not much weight loss and he came out of the plane as well as expected.
“We’ve got our heads held high and looking forward to the races. I’ve no doubt the horse is capable.”
To check out the latest Melbourne Cup horses and 2017 odds visit Ladbrokes.com.au.
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